Tow truck driver fatally struck on I-255 in Columbia

Wade Bivins

Emergency personnel responded about 10:15 a.m. Wednesday to I-255 southbound on the curve toward St. Louis just past the Columbia exit onto Route 3 after a tow truck driver was fatally struck by a vehicle in the roadway.

Traffic on I-255 southbound was completely shut down as a result, with Columbia firefighters diverting motorists onto Route 3 into Columbia. I-255 was reopened to traffic shortly after 1 p.m.

Other responding agencies included Columbia police and EMS, the Monroe County coroner’s office, Illinois State Police and the Illinois Department of Transportation.

ISP said a vehicle was broken down on the right shoulder of the road and a tow truck was in the process of removing the disabled vehicle. A tow truck operator was loading this vehicle up to the back of his tow truck, walked around the left side of the tow truck and was struck by a vehicle traveling southbound. 

The tow truck operator was pronounced deceased on scene, ISP said, and the driver of the vehicle that struck him remained on scene.

Monroe County Coroner Bob Hill identified the deceased as Wade Bivins, 57, of East Carondelet. He was a volunteer firefighter for the Prairie du Pont Fire Department.

Hill added that preliminary investigation indicates that a Ford pickup traveling in the slow lane of I-255
southbound struck Bivins as he was loading the disabled vehicle onto his tow truck.

Visitation for Bivins takes place Tuesday, Dec. 5, at Leesman Funeral Home, Dupo. For his full obituary, click here.

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